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I’m a member of a book club that I enjoy very much. We are currently reading Death with Interruptions by Jose Saramago. It was chosen by my wife, Elysha, who views her opportunity to choose a book as an intense and weighty process that involves research, analysis, and great deliberation. She scans websites, reviews lists of popular book club novels, solicits recommendations, and gathers all the information possible before selecting a text.

As a result, she now finds herself saddled with a novel that is too depressing for a new mother to read. Her previous choice, a Margaret Atwood novel entitled The Blind Assassin, wasn’t well received either, despite its numerous literary awards.

I think she might be over thinking her choices a bit.

When it’s my turn to choose, I just pick books that interest me or authors who I like. This process seems to work out well. In the past year, my choices have included a book of essays by Nicholson Baker and Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.

When Something Missing hits the stores in July, my book club has agreed to read it as our next book. This means that I can either re-read my book or work from memory. But what I may say when we meet is still a mystery to me.

How am I supposed to comment on a novel that I wrote?

Should I respond to my fellow book club member’s conjecture?

Should I defend myself against their possible criticism?

Should I be offended if someone doesn’t finish the book before we meet?

There’s always someone in our group who has not quite finished the book by the time we meet, and in the case of Death with Interruptions, it may very well be my wife.

In preparation for this possibility, she found this list of discussion points for members who have not yet read the book, which is quite amusing.

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  1. EB on May 25, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    I don’t know how far either of you have made it through Death with Interruptions, but I didn’t find the book to be depressing.

  2. Matthew Dicks on May 26, 2009 at 6:43 am

    I begin the book today. It’s a short novel, so I should be done by the end of the week.
    Not sure how much progress Elysha has made. She’s been hesitant to read any more of it.

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